BluebikesBluebikes, the regional bike-share system, will soon have four Arlington station locations, as unanimously approved by the Select Board at its Aug. 17 meeting:

  • Railroad lot at Minuteman Bikeway (off Water Street);
  • Mass. Ave. at Broadway;
  • Broadway at Grafton Street; and
  • Mass. Ave. at Grafton Street.

“These locations are part of Bluebikes’ first Arlington roll-out; two additional locations (Linwood Street and Thorndike Field) require additional review before finalization. The locations are near commercial areas and the Minuteman Bikeway, which was a popular corridor for Limebikes,” the town’s previous, nonstationed, bike program, said Senior Transportation Planner Daniel Armstutz.

“Each station will have 11 docks and six or seven bicycles, for a total of 38 bicycles. Stations are within one-third of a mile from at least one other station, approximately a five-minute walk,” added Armstutz.

Distancing criteria require that the stations in this initial installation be near the closest existing stations, which are in Cambridge and Somerville. This criterion makes siting a station in Arlington Heights infeasible, wrote Armstutz in a memo to Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine. 

Nevertheless, several board members expressed concern over the locations.

“Half the town doesn’t have dock stations, which feels limiting to many people who might be interested,” said board member Steve DeCourcey.

“The Heights can benefit from Bluebikes more than East Arlington," said board member Len Diggins.

Bluebikes’ Operations Manager Troy McHenry explained that having density is essential. “Most Bluebike trips are not round trips, so it’s important for the system to have continuity. Down the road, perhaps we can look at more stations.”

“If we can demonstrate success, we can grow from there,” said Chapdelaine.

Final shared-streets plan approved

With social-distancing guidelines still in place, the town continues to provide easy access to outdoor exercise. Walk or ride a bike (even a Bluebike!) in East Arlington along Brooks Avenue and Mary Street, both unanimously approved by the board as “shared and slow streets for social distancing.” 

Brooks Avenue will be repurposed as a shared street. “We had no safety complaints, and will ask the police department for data on how many vehicles were affected by these changes,” said Armstutz.

“Mary Street had enough support to start a pilot program,” said Armstutz. The major gateways will be at Margaret Street and Wilson Ave, the minor gateways at Littejohn Street, Homestead Road, Burch Street and Parker Street.

Board Chair John Hurd said, “Mary Street is the perfect location for the next step of this project.”

New election workers

The board unanimously approved five new election workers:

  • John Doyle, Pct. 10
  • Christina Hurley, Pct. 19
  • Andrew O’Connell, Pct. 4
  • Shannon Robinson, Pct. 12
  • Andrew Ward, Pct. 15
Contractor/drainlayer license OK'd

The board unanimously approved Jones Contracting Inc. of Walpole to be an approved contractor and drainlayer for the town. 

July 24, 2020: Bike shares returning, as Lime turns Blue

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020.